Friday Night Fights – Joe Louis

Posted November 21, 2019 by Cathy Ogren
Categories: Historical Fiction Picture Book

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When I was growing up, my brother, my grandfather, and I spent many Friday evenings watching boxing on television. We cheered for the boxers and sang along with the Gillette Razor Company’s commercial. Those times are long gone, but the warm memories of my grandfather and Friday Night Fights are still alive.

Joe

A Fist for Joe Louis and Me written by Trinka Hakes Noble and beautifully illustrated in soft watercolors by Nicole Tadgell brought back good memories of my early childhood and my grandfather. The author sets the story in Detroit, Michigan during the Great Depression and the coming of World War II with Nazi Germany. Trinka Hakes Noble weaves the story together with the real-life event, the Fight of the Century, which features Joe Louis, an American boxer from Detroit, Michigan and Max Schmeling, a boxer from Germany. The year is 1938 and Gordy is a young African American whose father gives him boxing lessons on Friday after he gets home from work. When dinner is over, the two of them listen to Friday Night Fights on the radio. Like many people living in the Detroit area at that time, Gordy’s father loses his job at the automobile plant. Gordy’s mother begins to take in sewing from Mr. Rubinstein, a Jewish tailor whose family left Germany to escape the Nazis. When Mr. Rubinstein drops off the sewing at Gordy’s house, he brings along his son, Ira. The two boys find they have a lot in common. They both like boxing, Joe Louis is their favorite boxer, and they watch Friday Night Fights with their fathers. Their friendship grows, and when an older student bullies Ira at school, Gordy channels thoughts of what Joe Louis would do and does the right thing to help Ira. Meanwhile, Ira’s father starts talking to Gordy’s father about boxing and the rematch between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling. A friendship grows between the two men as they realize they have many things in common, too. Trinka Hakes Noble has written a heartwarming story about unlikely friendships that blossom during a time of hardship and unrest in the world and a hometown boxing idol who gives hope to the American people in the Fight of the Century.

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Treats

Posted November 14, 2019 by Cathy Ogren
Categories: Holiday Books

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There’s nothing better than reading a great book. With Thanksgiving on the way, I’d like to share some of my favorite holiday books.

Thank You, Sarah! The  Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving

A cleverly written and illustrated book about Sarah Hale who fought to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. She persisted and Abraham Lincoln listened.

Sarah

Sharing the Bread: An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Story 

A delightful story in which a family works together to prepare a delicious Thanksgiving feast.

sharing

Bear Says Thanks

If you’re a fan of Karma Wilson’s Bear Books, you’ll find this one a delicious treat.

Bear

Thanksgiving Mice!

Written in rhyme, youngsters will enjoy perky mice putting on a Thanksgiving play for their friends and then inviting everyone to celebrate together.

mice

A Turkey for Thanksgiving

When Mrs. Moose tells Mr. Moose she’d like a real turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, he obliges. But Turkey doesn’t want anything to do with it in this hilarious Thanksgiving turkey tale.

turkey

How Many Days to America? A Thanksgiving Story

A family is forced to flee their small country when the government police come. They board a small boat bound for America, but there are a host of setbacks. After many days at sea, they finally reach the shores of America where they are welcomed and invited to celebrate Thanksgiving.

america

I hope you’ll take a bite out of these delicious books!

 

 

Sea Food Delights!

Posted November 7, 2019 by Cathy Ogren
Categories: Nonfiction Picture Books

Tags: , ,

If you haven’t had a chance to read I See Sea Food: Sea Creatures That Look Like Food, now is the time get your hands on a copy of this delicious treat!

sea food

Opening this book is like browsing through a menu at your favorite restaurant. Anyone for a Louisiana Pancake Batfish? Or how about a Chocolate Chip Sea Star? Or a Pizza Crust Sea Slug? Jenna Grodzicki offers up a buffet of unique sea creatures that are so appetizing you’ll want to sneak a bite. Each page turn reveals a colorful close-up photo of a delightfully weird-looking sea animal. Accompanying the photo is a description of the sea animal and some fast facts. But wait! There’s more! The back matter includes a glossary, an activity, and suggested books for further reading. Jenna Grodzicki has created a clever book that is not only filled with interesting information, but it begs to be read over and over. Wouldn’t you love to take a bite out of this book?

 

 

 

 

Happy Halloween!

Posted October 31, 2019 by Cathy Ogren
Categories: Special Days

Tags:

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Have a BOOO-tiful day!

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Music to My Ears

Posted October 24, 2019 by Cathy Ogren
Categories: Life and Family

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I love a piano,
love a piano
I love to hear somebody play
Upon a piano, a grand piano
It simply carries me away

~From Irving Berlin’s “I Love a Piano”

I’ve always loved music – especially piano music. The downside of my love of music is I can’t carry a tune, and I never learned to play the piano well. The upside is our daughter has a talent for playing the piano.

This past Monday, our beloved piano that had a special place in our home for twenty-seven years moved out of our house and into our daughter’s new home.

Old Home

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The downside of giving the piano to our daughter is a big empty space in our great room. The upside is the piano will once again have loving hands that will make it sing.

New Home

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I’m eagerly looking forward to seeing our granddaughters follow their mother’s musical talent and learn to create sounds that will be music to my ears.

This book will put a song in your heart and be music to your ears when you read it.

bear and piano

The Bear and the Piano written and illustrated by David Litchfield is a captivating story of a bear cub who finds a piano. Over the years, he learns how to play the piano and charms his woodland friends with his music. One day a man and his daughter hear the bear playing and invite him to come to the big city. The bear had always dreamed of learning more about music and “to play bigger and better than before.” He finds leaving behind his forest friends is difficult, but the city calls to him. The bear becomes a famous pianist, winning awards and playing for crowds who give him standing ovations. But one day he realizes with all that he has accomplished, there is something missing. David Litchfield has written and beautifully illustrated this touching tale of fame and lasting friendship. It’s a must-read book.

Goblins, and Ghouls, and Ghosts, Oh My!

Posted October 17, 2019 by Cathy Ogren
Categories: Board Books, Holiday Books, Picture Books

Tags:

Halloween is quickly approaching. Get your family in the mood for some yummy treats with these BOOks.

Picture Books

monster academy

Monster Academy written by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple and illustrated by John McKinley, The Blue Sky Press, 2018.

Creepy

Creepy Pair of Underwear! written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2017.

Pigs

Pug & Pig Trick-or-Treat written by Sue Lowell Gallion and illustrated by Joyce Wan, Beach Lane Books, 2017.

pomegranite

The Pomegranate Witch written by Denise Doyen and illustrated by Eliza Wheeler, Chronicle, 2017.

stumpkin

Stumpkin written and illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins, Antheneum Books for Young Readers, 2018.

old lady

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything written by Linda Williams and illustrated by Megan Lloyd, HarperCollins, 2019.

teeny tiny

A Teeny Tiny Halloween written by Lauren L. Wohl and illustrated by Henry Cole, Persnickety Press, 2016.

Board Books

blue truck

Little Blue Truck’s Halloween written by Alice Schertle and illustrated by Jill McElmurry, HMH Books for Young Readers, 2016.

Bat

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bat! written by Lucille Colandro and illustrated by Jared Lee, Cartwheel Books, 2017.

mouse

It’s Pumpkin Day, Mouse! written by Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond, Balzer + Bray, 2019.

 

 

 

Sea Cow or Manatee?

Posted October 10, 2019 by Cathy Ogren
Categories: Author/Illustrator, Picture Books

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Is it a sea cow or a manatee? Find out when you read This Is a Sea Cow written and illustrated by Cassandra Federman.

sea cow

A second grader is given a homework assignment to write about a marine mammal she likes. The student chooses a sea cow and proceeds to write facts and draw illustrations. She begins by comparing the sea cow to a land cow. Cassandra Federman’s clever illustrations show the sea cow – who prefers to be called a manatee – using speech bubbles to clarify the facts written by the student. With each page turn, readers see the sea cow’s hilarious personality come to life as the sea cow continues to dispute some of the facts and comparisons the second-grade student is writing and drawing.

This book bursts with clever commentary, interesting facts, and some fascinating back matter. Cassandra Federman has created a delightfully funny book that will hook readers from the beginning.


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